I've been in the game for quite a while now, having started and expanded a number of successful blogs. Along the way, I learned a good majority of what there is to know about the industry.
In this guide, I pull the curtain back and share that knowledge with you. As part of this, I'll cover everything you need to know to start a blog.
First steps and FAQ
What do you need to start a WordPress blog?
There are three things required to start a WordPress blog:
- A domain name. This is the address where your website lives. It is the url or target that people type into a search engine to find your website. Kind of like the address to your house.
- A hosting account. This is the server where your files like pictures, text and databases are stored. Think of it like your house, where all your belongings are kept.
- A little time and patience. Setting up a blog in WordPress isn't overly technical or complicated, but it comes with a learning curve that takes some time to learn.
If you are already confused, don't worry. In this guide, we're going to walk you through the entire process step by step from the ground up. We'll cover the basics of starting a blog, including …
- How to Pick a Profitable and Profitable Niche.
- How to register a domain name.
- The best web hosting company and package to choose from.
- How to set up WordPress on your domain.
- How to choose the best theme company and design.
- The basics of writing a blog post.
- Important plugins your blog shouldn't be without.
- How to grow your blog to increase traffic.
- Here's how to monetize your blog as soon as you start getting traffic.
So without further ado, let's get started!
When family and friends find out that I am now working full time online, they often ask me how I can start a blog and make money online.
After explaining how to start a blog a few dozen times, I thought it would be a lot easier to document a step-by-step guide on how to become a blogger.
There are many reasons to start a blog. You may want to speak or give your opinion online, anonymously, or you may want to make extra money through the various ways to make money from a blog.
Whatever your reason, it's easier than ever to get started.
Fortunately, setting up a blog is cheap and the steps are the same whether you're learning how to create a fashion, food, lifestyle, music, sports, or business blog.
Just starting your own website can get you 6 digits and live online all day. The key is to just get it going.
And while you may be tempted to start a free blog, building a profitable website with a legitimate brand requires some very basic investments, such as: B. a custom domain and web hosting.
Before we dive too deep into how, however, there are a few things you should know before blogging and blogging in 2020.
Decide what to blog about
Contrary to what many new bloggers would like to believe, blogging doesn't bring you millions overnight. It might be easy to get started with, but be prepared to invest the time and effort actually growing your project.
Like any other business, it takes time, patience, and commitment. So pick a topic or niche that you are passionate about and know about. Trust me, your audience can tell when you love discussing the topic on your blog posts and that builds credibility and loyalty.
I've made this mistake many times in the past by buying websites I didn't know about when trying to relate to my new found audience. I've failed, and very badly.
Not only is it difficult to write on a topic you know nothing about, but it is also unhelpful for readers. Stick to what you know and build your passion.
In addition, a unique experience or perspective on a topic can help you stand out from other online bloggers and encourage social media sharing through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. These media can grab attention and generate huge amounts of traffic for your site.
Without going into too much detail, at the end of the day you really just want to pick one niche that you have a passion for, that you are an expert in, and that you enjoy writing about.
Don't overthink it. Just pick an area that you really like e.g. B. a hobby or side business, and then start a blog about it.
If you don't know what niche or topic to write about, check out this video for some helpful tips:
Which blogging platform should I use?
A blogging platform, or CMS for short, is a necessary part of a blog that allows you to manage your content, images, and design. The free WordPress blogging platform is The best in terms of simplicity, reliability and flexibility.
It's so easy to use that nearly 100 million websites are using this CMS, and most hosting companies even offer 1-click blog installation features especially for new bloggers looking to install WordPress.
Without HTML or technical knowledge, you can create your own blog and customize it with various free themes (designs), layouts, plugins and functions.
On the other hand, you might want to learn how to blog for free using Blogger, Tumblr, Wix, or Weebly.
A free solution offers users the option of getting their feet wet. However, if you want to make money blogging online, I can tell you that starting a free blog is the wrong decision.
Let me explain why "free" is actually not free.
- You cannot have your own domain. This website, Yahoo.com, Google.com and CNN.com have their own domains. With a self-hosted blog, you can choose and register any available domain name. However, if you start a blog on Blogger.com or Tumblr.com, your website's URL will look like this: YourSite.Blogger.com or YourSite.Tumblr.com. Imagine going to Yahoo.Blogger.com – what would you think? Credible or easy to remember? Would you share this "blog" with your family and friends?
- You don't really own your blog. Since your blog is hosted on their website, you are not even the "owner". Your blog can be removed or deleted without warning. If you decide to move to your own domain and host it later, you can't take your traffic or readership with you either.
- There is no flexibility. When you blog using a free blogging service, you're limited by its infrastructure, design, and layout. The themes these platforms offer are limited and boring, and you can't install third-party plugins.
- You can't make money, or at least not that much. Lots of people make money blogging, from $ 100 a month to $ 1,000,000 a month. Unfortunately, most of these free blogging websites don't allow you to do this. In this case, the platform will take a percentage of your income.
For all of these reasons and more, I highly recommend using a low cost hosting company and buying your own domain (i.e. MyBlog.com or MyBlog.org).
Tip: We negotiated a super cheap price with Bluehost, one of the best hosting companies in the world. Typically, a shared hosting plan costs $ 7.99 per month, but our readers get an exclusive price of just $ 2.95 / month for doing this Sign up using this link.
If you're on a bigger budget and want to start a blog with Rockstar hosting from scratch, I would suggest go with WP Engine. You can get started for just $ 25 a month.
We are sure that you will make a profit in the first few months with almost negligible costs. More on this later in this article.
Cost of starting a self-hosted blog
The biggest benefit of starting a blog or business online is that it's incredibly cheap. Unlike earlier times when starting a business was capital-intensive, starting a blog in 2020 can usually be done for less than $ 100.
Here are the costs you can incur hosting your own blog using WordPress' free blogging software.
- domain:: $ 15 per year.
- Hosting:: $ 3 – $ 5 per month or about $ 36 per year with our discount.
- Subjects: Some are free. Others, like the Genesis Framework, can cost around $ 100.
Best of all, there is no obligation to make learning how to start a blog a very low risk decision. Even if you try to be unsuccessful, unless you go overboard and spend money, you will only lose a small piece of change.
If you decide after a month or two that blogging is not for you, you can usually cancel it and get a refund. Many hosting companies even offer a 30-day or anytime money-back guarantee.
You really have nothing to lose at this point. The following tutorial will walk you through creating a blog.
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Choose a domain or blog name
Hopefully you've decided to self-host a blog on your own domain. Now comes the fun part – choosing your blog name and domain.
Select a domain
Choosing a domain or blog name can be a challenge for some bloggers as it needs to be brandable, meaningful, short, and easy to remember.
If you want to blog about healthy foods and recipes, a domain like My-Favorite-Healthy-Food-Recipes.com or MyFavoriteFoodRecipes.com is not the way to go.
Try a catchy, unique domain like EatWell.com or HealthFanatic.com. Likewise, you can brand your domain after yourself with your name.
Where can I buy a domain?
It is usually best for you to buy a domain and hosting package together, especially since the best hosting companies will provide you with the domain for free when you purchase hosting, which will save you time and money. For example, Bluehost allows you to register a free domain when you choose their shared hosting plans.
If you get hosting through Bluehost, be sure to take advantage of the free domain name. Typically, if you're working with another host that doesn't offer a free domain, you'll want to register a domain through an outside company.
Although there are many registrars who can rent domains from, it is always better to work with a reputable company. However, stay away from the most famous companies like GoDaddy as they will overload you a ton.
Seriously, always stay away from GoDaddy.
They are so well known that they can undermine their customers in terms of price, and that's almost predatory. It makes me angry.
To further illustrate what I mean, let's do a quick test.
I priced the domain "mynewblog1234.com" through my favorite registrar Namecheap and my least favorite, GoDaddy.
If I register the domain through Namecheap, a one-year registration will cost me only $ 11.16. When I apply a promo code, that price drops to around $ 9, and they even offer a free WhoisGuard subscription for the first year.
A screenshot of the price of a new domain registered through Namecheap.
However, if you check the price on GoDaddy, you will find that the amount is almost twice that of Namecheap.
In addition, I see even higher prices when renewing the domain. $ 9.99 for Domain Privacy? Give me a break.
A screenshot of the price of a new domain registered through GoDaddy.
But be sure to do some shopping to find deals. You save money in advance and say thank you at the end.
Once you have a domain, you'll want to sign up for a web hosting plan.
What you need
If this is your first time blogging, you don't need anything special. You don't need managed WordPress hosting or a dedicated server. All you need is a cheap hosting plan to host your files and get your website live.
I've learned that in my years of blogging BlueHost is one of the best cheap hosting companies, especially for new bloggers. Because they have so many users, they can operate on a large scale to offer super affordable shared hosting plans that can get you a website live for little money.
* Shared hosting is when a web host grants multiple users access to the same server and they share resources like disk space and storage. There are often tens or even hundreds of users on the same shared hosting plan sharing the same resources.
BlueHost stands out in the following categories:
- Reputation, uptime and security
- Customer service and technical support
- Price and money back guarantee
- Features and free email accounts
BlueHost shared hosting plans include a free domain, unlimited everything (storage, bandwidth, email accounts, etc.), automated backups, 24/7 technical support via phone and chat, and an average availability of 99.9 % have to deal with server crashes and network failures.
BlueHost is also highly recommended for one-click WordPress installations. Thanks to the extremely user-friendly control panel, you can start your blog in 15 minutes.
Overall, BlueHost offers powerful servers, fast connections, and unlimited bandwidth / storage that are vital to your future success in blogging online.
Request your exclusive 60% discount now!
If your blog has a lot more traffic, you can check out more powerful managed WordPress hosts like WPEngine or Flywheel. For now, shared hosting is a good place to start.
How to set up a blog (step-by-step guide)
So, "how do I start a blog?"
First, Click here or the picture below to take advantage of mine Special 60% discount with BlueHost. Then click on the BlueHost homepage on “get started now"Button.
You will be asked to choose a hosting plan. I recommend the "Starter"Option for new bloggers, but if you can afford it and want the added flexibility of starting multiple blogs on the same server without buying new hosting, I recommend opting for the"plus" Possibility.
On the next page in the "New domainSelect your desired domain name in your field. If the domain is available, proceed to the next step in the registration process. Otherwise you will have to choose a different name. If you already have a domain name, enter it in the "I have a domain name", To continue.
After you've chosen a blog name, you'll need to enter your account information. Then scroll down the page to select your web hosting and options.
As a new blogger, we recommend choosing the "36 monthsOption, as this will maximize your discount and BlueHost offers a money back guarantee, you can cancel your hosting plan at any time if you would like a refund of your balance. Plus, your domain is free with BlueHost – a savings of $ 15.
However, if you are not entirely sure whether you want to start a blog and make money, but still want to benefit from a discounted rate, choose "12 months“And give yourself a year to grow your blog.
Please note that you have to pay in advance. This way, BlueHost can offer my readers some of the lowest prices in the industry.
Here is the math based on using my special discount.
- 12 months at $ 4.95 per month is $ 59.40 per year and $ 59.40 upfront.
- 24 months at $ 3.95 per month is $ 47.40 per year and $ 94.80 upfront.
- 36 months at $ 2.95 per month is $ 35.40 per year and $ 106.20 upfront.
In addition, we recommend that you disable all add-on options.Domain data protection”To protect your blog's ownership information (your name, mailing address, email address, phone number, etc.) from being linked to your domain name and publicly shared.
I can tell you from experience that if you don't register the domain as private, spammers will find you. Once a spammer finds you based on these details, you will be exposed to an endless stream of emails offering SEO services for your new website.
Under no circumstances should you try these spammers' SEO services. They don't work and likely won't do anything but end up hurting your website.
Finally, you'll need to enter your billing and payment information. BlueHost is one of the best and most secure hosting companies so you can feel safe entering your credit card details.
After the transaction is complete, you will receive an email to confirm the creation of your BlueHost account. Log into your new BlueHost account to install your WordPress blog.
On the main page you will find the "websiteSection and click "Install WordPress”To start the installation process.
In the pop-up screen, click "To install”To start a brand new installation of WordPress.
Here, select your domain from the drop-down list to install your WordPress there. Leave the second "Directory" field blank.
The final step is to set up your basic WordPress login details.
Click "Show advanced options”To enter your credentials. Your "site name" is effectively your blog name and can always be changed later. Your "Admin Username" should be unique and not publicly available for security reasons.
Finally, choose an easy-to-remember “administrator password” that you will change later. Of course, have your username / password credentials ready as you will need them to access the back end of your new WP installation.
Finally press "Install now”To start the WordPress installation.
Once the installation is complete, visit your "Site URL" to check out the WordPress theme and layout of the template, which you can edit and customize.
To log into the back end, click on the "Login URL" and enter the username / password created above. For convenience, bookmark "yourdomain.com/wp-login.php" or "yourdomain.com/wp-admin/" as this will be your login URL in the future.
Install themes (design)
Now you have a new nifty WordPress installation. But be honest, it's downright ugly. The standard theme, a variant of Kubrick, is extremely out of date and overused.
The other installed theme, WordPress Classic, is better, but not by much. However, the beauty of WordPress and its huge community is that you can choose from thousands and thousands of free themes and hundreds of premium (or paid themes) to make your ugly little website a beauty in just a few minutes!
Choosing a brilliant theme for your WordPress site is one of the essential first steps in building your online presence. Remember that your website represents your brand virtually to the online audience. Any self-respecting website owner strays from general, free, and clunky topics. Instead, you should only consider the absolute best for your website.
Get recommendations, do a web search, and find the look that fits your sit topic. Also consider the support for the topic you selected. WordPress upgrades often mean that theme upgrades are required as well.
Criteria for choosing a WordPress theme
Here are five of the most important rules to keep in mind when choosing a theme for WordPress:
1. The topic should not contain any malicious code
Site security should be one of your top priorities when building and running a WordPress website. Unfortunately, security can be the first thing you put at risk when choosing a topic with malicious code embedded.
Hackers insert such codes to steal backlinks from your website, gain unrestricted access to your digital assets, display unauthorized ads or links, or simply shut down your website.
Before installing a theme, make sure that you run a quick virus scan of the compressed file immediately after it is downloaded. You can also use WordPress' AntiVirus plugin to thoroughly examine a topic for malicious code.
Of course, you can always stop downloading third-party themes and use the themes already available in the WordPress library.
2. The topic should load quickly
To help you pick a quick WordPress theme, the rule of thumb is to run a speed test on the demo version of the theme. All you have to do is plug in some dummy content, install the theme demo you want to buy, and then run Pingdom Tools to see how long it takes your website to load.
3. The theme developer should be trustworthy
Choosing a topic means trusting the company behind it. Downloading a topic from an unknown, shady resource is just too risky, especially the future of your website is at stake. Instead, make sure that you only download themes and plugins from reputable sources with lots of positive user reviews.
Just don't forget that people have different tastes and needs. Don't let a single review completely influence your decision. First, determine what you need specifically for a topic, select your candidates, then let the reviews validate your options. Use the reviews to find websites that use the topic to test the experience firsthand. A reputable theme provider may also provide sample websites or live demos for you.
4. The theme should be easy to edit and customize
Even if you pay for a premium theme, it will look and feel generic even if you don't implement your customizations. However, not all themes have many customization options, while others just have too many – which turns the theme's appearance editor into a mess. Of course, you can make detailed tweaks by creating a subtopic and changing the CSS and PHP codes. However, it should be easy to make quick adjustments with the basics like theme colors, menus, header and footer.
One way to find out the customization options in a topic is to look for online reviews and guides. However, if none is available, it is best to contact the customer support of the topic provider. This leads to the next and last important rule for choosing a WordPress theme:
5. The subject must have excellent customer support
Since you will be working with the theme provider to create your website, you need to review how effective they are in communicating their assistance. Remember, poor customer service costs billions of dollars a year to not only customers but businesses as well. If you want a safer and more stable future for your online business, you shouldn't connect with brands that care no less about the user experience.
Whenever possible, use a contact method that will give you quicker responses, such as by email B. Live chat or phone call. To make the conversation more productive, make sure you make a list of questions to ask the topic provider. You can ask anything from changing the layout of the theme to licensing restrictions. However, your number one priority is determining how quickly your queries will be answered. When you make the call and send a message via live chat or email, this question should be answered for you.
Customize your site
Now that your website is in shape and style, there are a few things that still need to be tweaked to make it your own.
I recommend at least the following measures:
- Decide on your site name and tagline
- Enter the link structure
- Add a header image
- Arrange widgets in your sidebar
- Enable Akismet (a standard comment spam blocker).
- Add plugins to increase functionality
- Decide on suitable settings
- Add an RSS feed
- Add a subscription login
- Create categories and tags
Install plugins (functionality)
In the WordPress area, plugins allow users to add a number of different advanced software programs to their website. They improve the functionality of your website and add exciting features that appeal to website visitors in a variety of ways.
The WordPress directory has over 55,000 third-party plugins that can take you to the heavy lifting of customizing and tagging your blog. But what are the must-haves among such a large collection of add-on software?
Let yourself be guided through the basic WordPress plugins that every beginner should have, regardless of the content that will soon be available in your unique domain.
1. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO has become one of the most popular WordPress plugins for both beginners and experienced website builders. Yoast offers the most comprehensive search engine optimization solution with an impressive range of features and tools to improve your on-page SEO. Add meta tags, create sitemaps, and optimize your website for Google, social media, and more.
When it comes to plugins to optimize the conversion rate, no software is better than OptinMonster. OptinMonster is designed to allow users to convert hopping visitors into interested email subscribers and paying customers. It works hard so you don't have to. With OptinMonster you can personalize campaigns for users and earn more money with it. OptinMonster is a valuable tool for bloggers, e-commerce entrepreneurs, and new business owners.
When creating your blog, security should be paramount. Sucuri is one of the leading security WordPress plugins that offers DNS level network firewalls, intrusion / brute force prevention, and malware and blacklist removal services. By sending all website traffic through the cloud proxy, Sucuri can scan every single request and decide whether or not the traffic is legitimate and which traffic can be successfully forwarded.
While everyone wants their website to receive traffic, nobody wants their traffic to be dominated by spam and bots. Akismet's main job is to filter out and delete spam comments that can compromise the legitimacy of your website.
Akismet is recognized for its 99.4% accuracy, which gives you the peace of mind of tackling unwanted content on your blog.
Loginizer is designed to prevent third-party hackers from brute force attacks on your blog. It's another important safety measure that's worth adding on your plugin list.
Loginizer blocks an IP address after a maximum number of login attempts has been reached. With the plugin you can also blacklist or whitelist certain IP addresses.
Use higher-level security features such as two-factor authentication, reCAPTCHA, passwordless login and much more to increase the security of your website.
7. MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp ist einer der weltweit beliebtesten E-Mail-Marketing-Services, mit dem Benutzer Abonnenten verwalten, E-Mails senden und die Früchte Ihrer Arbeit in großen Mengen verfolgen können. Es ist ein absolutes Muss für WordPress-Webmaster und Geschäftsinhaber und kann kostenlos zu Ihrem Blog hinzugefügt werden. Wenn Sie Ihre E-Commerce-Website aufpeppen möchten, entscheiden Sie sich stattdessen für die Premium-Version.
Du bist offiziell ein Blogger, aber du bist sicherlich noch nicht fertig. Nun kommt die Arbeit, regelmäßig relevante, hilfreiche Inhalte hinzuzufügen. Sie müssen etwas über Suchmaschinenoptimierung lernen. Sie müssen Leser anziehen und den Datenverkehr erhöhen. Abhängig von Ihren Zielen möchten Sie möglicherweise Ihre Website monetarisieren.
Es gibt noch viel zu tun und zu lernen. Bloggen ist kein kurzfristiges Projekt. Mach weiter und lerne weiter. Sie haben einen guten Start.
frequently asked Questions
Unser Leitfaden hat vielen Menschen geholfen, in die Blog-Welt einzusteigen. Hier sind einige der am häufigsten gestellten Fragen, die wir erhalten haben.
Benötige ich WordPress, um ein Blog zu starten?
Nein, Sie benötigen WordPress nicht, um ein Blog zu starten. Es gibt andere Plattformen, aber WordPress ist die einfachste und am einfachsten anpassbare Plattform, die derzeit verfügbar ist.
Kann ich mit meinem Blog Geld verdienen?
Ja, Sie können Ihr Blog monetarisieren und Einnahmen aus Ihrem Traffic erzielen. Es gibt viele verschiedene Möglichkeiten, um mit dem Bloggen Geld zu verdienen. Wir empfehlen jedoch, sich zunächst auf den wachsenden Datenverkehr und die Gewinnung neuer Leser zu konzentrieren.
Wie kommst du auf Ideen für Blogposts?
Die Verwendung von Google ist eine großartige Möglichkeit, um neue Ideen für Blog-Posts zu entwickeln. Geben Sie eine Abfrage in Google ein und sehen Sie sich die Ergebnisse an, die bei der automatischen Vervollständigung angezeigt werden. Dies ist eine großartige Möglichkeit, um zu sehen, wonach die Leute tatsächlich suchen.
Kann ich ein anonymes Blog erstellen und betreiben??
Ja, Sie können anonym ein Blog erstellen und betreiben, ohne dass jemand weiß, wer sich hinter den Kulissen befindet. Unabhängig vom Grund für die Anonymität können Sie mit Tools wie der privaten Registrierung und dem Mangel an öffentlichem Wissen in Ihrem Blog im Schatten bleiben. Wir empfehlen, unsere “So starten Sie einen anonymen Blog”Leitfaden für weitere Details.